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The word chandelier, meaning candleholders, comes from the old French word for a tallow candle. Chandeliers albeit in their primitive form have been used since medieval times. The were used primarily in Churches and other large buildings but gradually filtered into private houses by the end of the 17th Century in a more elaborate and decorative form. Early medievial chandeliers were austere and consisted of two pieces of wood nailed together to form a cross, the candles would be set in cups or impaled on prickets at the end of the cross. The structure would then be suspended from the ceiling by chains or rope. Gradually from this primitive wooden structure the iron chandelier was developed. Copies of early chandeliers or as they were referred to in inventories 'hangynge candlesticks' are very rare but the medieval ranges on this web site has been based on and developed from these examples.